Car Thieves

It took me a while to get to where I could write about this. It still leaves me feeling sick, stressed out and enraged.

Friday was Zsanic’s birthday and I took her, my sister and mother to see “Get Smart” at the Coastal Grand Mall In Myrtle Beach, SC. We parked at the far end of the row right in front of the movie theater entrance. Three hours later when we came out my car was gone. Stolen.

It’s a strange feeling, maybe the best description is surreal. Zsanic and my Mother had ridden with me and my sister brought her car. So we walked out of the mall and hugged my sister good bye and then the three of us walked to my car… well where my car had been.. as we were standing there looking for it I didn’t really think “oh my car has been stolen”. Instead it was “I thought my car was here. I must have parked it one row over.” So I walked over a row and looked. No car. I came back and thought real hard about where I had left it and remembered to within a couple of spaces where I thought I had parked it. When I came in to park another car took the first space I was going to park in and I ended up parking a couple spaces down and across from them. It left an impression on all of us in the car about where we had parked. finally after about 10 minutes of searching just in case we were all crazy I admitted to myself that the car had been stolen. 30 minutes later Zsanic was still denying that it could have been stolen. She kept saying “were just looking to hard and missing it”. I can’t deny that emotionally I felt the same way. It just couldn’t have happened therefore I was missing it. Logically though.. well the car had been stolen.

About 10 or 15 minutes after coming out of the mall I gave into logic and called 911 and reported it and then getting hold of the mall security people to see if they might have caught it on video (they ended up not having video cameras outside the mall at all. so no video). The whole interaction with the cops was depressing. The were extremely distant though polite. When they first pulled up they asked me “are you sure you didn’t just park on the other side of the mall?” Then they asked for a description and tags and then spent the next half hour driving around the parking lot looking for it even though we had three people saying where it had been parked. After that they came back and filled out a report on it and had me sign it. Then they left. I think they might have spoken less than 50 words to me the entire time. I know I said a lot to them about the vehicle and our story about parking it etc… I can’t really remember it clearly now though. I think the three of us.. especially me were all a bit emotionally shocked at the events. Even today, three days later my brain is still racing in circles thinking about what I could have done to stop the theft. Wondering if I went out and drove around would I maybe see/find my car. What ifs by the thousands.

The rage I feel against the thieves is also contributing to my emotionally shocky feelings. I don’t like to feel this kind of anger against anyone, but right now if one of the thieves was in front of me, I would like nothing better than to beat them to within an inch of their lives. For them to just come and steal my car with no care or thought for what that would do to me or my life shows such a lack of respect for other people. Just the emotional trauma is bad enough and then you add in that my car, that I need, is gone it gets worse. I need the car to go to work or the grocery store or to anywhere. I live in the country a minimum of 10+ miles from anywhere I need to go in my daily life. It was a 16 year old 100000+ mile car and all I had on it was liability insurance, but it was mine and it drove good and I planned on driving it for the next 5 to 7 years. No one is going to pay me for it or give me another car. If I have to buy another one just like it then it will put me financially back at least a year to a year and a half. Do people that do stuff like this ever even think about what they have done to their victims? I guess they just don’t care.

It’s not just me either, everyone that was there was affected by it and even today after talking to them you can hear the hurt and pain of it and how it has changed their attitudes. It is making them more wary and less trusting, It is making me feel that way also. I’m now planning on building in anti theft and deterrent devices into the next car or my car if I recover it. I can’t afford to pay full coverage insurance over an extended period of years on as cheap and old a car as this one or what will likely be my next car but I will scrape up the cost of a years full coverage and spend it on equipment to prevent my car from being stolen in the future. So the thieves have cost me my car, then the cost of replacing it plus probably 20% more to install some sort of anti theft device not to mention the emotional stress to at least 4 people me included..

I will say that it is times like this that the quality of your family and friends show. I was offered loaner vehicles from my mom, Zsanic, Angela, and Miriam just in the first few hours after the car was stolen. My friend Steve actually thought he saw the car on the road and followed it to take a look and see if it was my car. It wasn’t, he walked up to the owner and asked if it was for sale so he could get a close look and it wasn’t my car, but it means a lot to me that he would go to the effort. Another friend has told me that he and his wife might have a older car for sale yesterday and Miriam has talked with a car dealer friend of hers that has offered to sell me a slightly newer Honda like mine for what he has in the car and that he would even finance it for me at 0% interest. It helps to write all this down. The response of family, friends and even people that have never met me like Miriam’s car dealer friend go a long way to reminding me that there are more good people out there than bad. In a way you can turn around a bad situation into an affirmation of the goodness of most people. I have to say that I have been blessed with more than my share of good friends and family.

I’m sure, or at least hope, that there will be more to the story and I will probably write about it here as it happens. If I’m lucky my car will be found abandoned somewhere.

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